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  1. My first thought upon seeing that subject line was that you could now book cruises on Amazon and I got excited (since I get 5% back on Amazon purchases)
    20 points
  2. The little things that matter to me. Last night in the SL, I asked Joel (a bartender there) if he could make a Lavender Martini. He said they did not have the syrup. So after some back and forth, and lots of laughs, he made me some unknown martini of his own creation. It was pretty good, and I called it Joel’s martini. Today, after my crepe and Hibiscus Tea from Rye & Bean, I stopped by the SL to grab a bottle of water. Joel was there, he passed over a bottle of water, and then proceeded to show me a brand new bottle of lavender syrup. He said it’s for when I return later tonight. These are the little things, that go a long way with me.
    19 points
  3. Goodnight all…it’s been a great voyage! Final thoughts coming tomorrow.
    18 points
  4. Day 4 - St. Kitts We are in St. Kitts today. I don’t think that we are leaving the ship
    18 points
  5. Random sail away photos. Fireworks were a nice touch, longer than I expected. But you could not see them well because they did not (or maybe could not) wait until it got dark.
    18 points
  6. 17 points
  7. Ok, I'm a HORRIBLE blogger. But I'm in steerage, so no impressive pics. I'll catch you up. I met Rover. It was windy. I look like crap. But Rover was soft and beautiful. Last night was great fun, as we hung out with a bunch of Royal Caribbean Blog Insiders at the Dueling Piano Bar. A raucous good time. 20240128_231831.mp4
    17 points
  8. As promised, here is the Panoramic Suite; category VP. Will reserve thoughts on this suite for later this week.
    17 points
  9. WAAAYTOOO

    Allure 12 Feb

    This isn’t going to be a comprehensive live blog (just a shorty 4-nighter) but I wanted to pass on a few tidbits. Super quick and easy boarding. On board and sneaking through the hallway to snatch our Sea Pass cards by 10:15. Our normal process was slightly different today since we needed to (1) see if we were going to be able to get into the SL/CK and (2) Make dining rezzies in the CK if the answer to #1 was “yes”. So I went and snagged our Sea Passes and then went directly to the SL. I tried mine first. Nope. Nada. <sad trombone>. Dan said, “Let me try”. It worked ! <huge sigh of relief>. I guess I had allowed my Sea Pass to linger too long in the sensor or something similarly mundane. So the first time for us on an Oasis class ship since turning Pinnacle we have scored ! There are only 25 Pinns on this sailing (per the CK maitre’d) so we have full access and have already made dinner rezzies for all 4 nights. Now for the bad news. They are only honoring BOGO on night #1. Not sure if that’s due to Valentines Day or what….but since we intend to enjoy filet night in the CK tonite, we will not be having any specialty dining this trip (except for Giovanni’s for lunch). Their loss. We’ll just save our money and eat in the CK every night ! Enjoying a wonderfully sedate boarding morning in the SL and will be heading to GT for lunch shortly.
    16 points
  10. So the shenanigans........ If you aren't aware, I'm a career firefighter, and it's one of the officers that I work with that will be on the ship too, and I will be showing him the suite life. One thing about working in a fire house is that if we aren't actively busting your balls, and playing jokes on someone, we are just plotting our next move. My shift, we are masters at this.......... So when the guys heard he was going....the wheels started turning......and we plot for the end game. We research, and plan etc etc Now Dan, the other guy on this cruise, is not always the smartest guy. During some conversations with guys on my shift, we discovered that he was not aware of the various clues that people use for advertising "alternative lifestyles" so of course we are capitalizing on this......after we educated him on the importance of a particular fruit.... We have already made plans to meet in our suite shortly after boarding, and behold, my latest Bezos purchase....which I will be wearing on his entry..... There were other shirts that I was considering that were much more overt, and not appropriate to post here, but they were quickly vetoed by The Boss. Go to Amazon and search "pineapple shirts for men" it won't take you too long to find them..... I'm looking forward to walking around the ship with him and his wife wearing this on day 1 and just seeing where this goes...... So, another things that Dan is good at, is allowing himself to be photographed in ways that just set him up for ridicule by all of us......So that will also be my goal during the week. He's close to retiring....my goal is to get some great shots for his retirement party..... This is going to be so much fun.....
    16 points
  11. Okay, final thoughts, rambling, and wrap ups. Overall, this was a great time. I will sail again with my mother despite all her flaws......... I hate to say but the Publix sub and meal from San Juan, were the best of all the food I had on this experience. Going forward I may not get the UDP. I can thank Wonder for saving me the money. At $300+ per sailing the quality of food doesn't make the extra cost worth it. Plus, I am D+ and can use the BOGO and a 3night if I want to do any specialty dining. I plan to incorporate room service to supplement on nights that I don't like the MDR menus. I don't think I will use the laundry perk again. I don't wear perfume but I like my clothes to smell a certain way. The clothes were clean and smell industrial, worse once anything hit them (when I went through the casino the shirt I had on took in the smoke and I wanted to vomit from the smell). They also ruined my brother's white shirt and shorts. They are dingy as if they didn't wash them with whites. There is no ship I won't sail again: but Wonder is my favorite and I sadly spent most of Allure comparing her to Wonder, which was the cleanest of them all. Even though the crew looked less happy on Wonder, they still were amazing, and I think they truly make the cruise. However...... I can't say that any of my room attendants were spectacular. Despite tipping a little something at the beginning, I felt like it was always surface stuff done. I know that at most, the three rooms I stayed in were vacuumed once during my stay. And I(we) am the type that cleans up before someone comes to clean. There is a clear difference, sorry not sorry, in the way solo guest are treated. I felt it hard on Allure and it really turned me off......granted that could have just been the "shorty on an Oasis class" aspect. But it was difficult to enjoy. Plus, my brother is awesome, so I don't think I will cruise solo in the near future.......in my own room, YES. If you want to board all willy nilly, PC is for you. They never checked boarding times and they didn't care about beverage limits. They just want to get you on and off the ship. On both Wonder and Allure, it wasn't even 10:30am when we completed muster. The casino was horrible across all three ships. Considering how much I played, never more than I would pay for a cruise, I didn't come out ahead in any aspect, which was a first for me. I hit a couple of smaller jackpots, but machines were constantly breaking down and/or occupied. And the selection of machines wasn't that great. Cleanliness was a major issue on most ships, and I missed waving at crew members as they cleaned the rails, wiped the glass and made they ship beautiful. The weather was not great. It was rainy and windy plus cold for most of the time. It was better than my weather at home, but not nearly hot enough for my brother. Parents continue to believe that the ship is their babysitter. More than once I waited to make sure that ambling children, who were alone, found their way back to their parents. Popcorn and hot chocolate/coffee is clutch for ice shows.......switch it for any drinks when it comes to any other entertainment. I know people are like how you can bring food on a cruise?????....... but the lack of pretzels, popcorn and chips are noticeable when you are sailing for more than 7 days......or even if you aren't. I want to thank all of you for reading my blog, your kind words concerning our "good looks" and the feedback/stories in general. My and my brother's next cruise is in 98 days...........
    16 points
  12. I'm down in the Music Hall watching Phoenix..but moreso watching this one guy in front living his best life playing air drums and guitar like he's the sixth member of the band.
    16 points
  13. We will just photostop @SpeedNoodles in, I guess
    16 points
  14. Everything I've seen and read in the various places suggests you guys are just having a terrible time on Icon. Meanwhile the rest of us.
    16 points
  15. Update: I checked the residents of Tot Town demand the return of their mayor, @Lovetocruise2002
    16 points
  16. WAAAYTOOO

    Allure 12 Feb

    So far, so good. We had mimosas with breakfast ! BIG splurge for me. I almost never drink alcohol and certainly NEVER in the morning...but it seemed appropriate. We're in Nassau today (blah) so we will not be getting off the ship. Kinda coolish and windy here anyway. Dinner tonite in the CK. Dan will be happy. I think tonite is lamb shank. I'll find something. Which brings up an interesting thing from last night's dinner. Last night's menu was really bad (for me). There wasn't a darn thing I wanted. Dan got braised veal which he thoroughly enjoyed. So I asked for the children's menu. LOL. I got plain spaghetti with marinara and chicken fingers. I also asked if they had a small tossed salad. I didn't want anything fancy...just some lettuce, tomatoes and olives with some ranch dressing. Anelyn, our server (AWESOME lady) asked the chef to prepare me a special salad, which came out exactly as I had asked for it. SOOO nice. I chopped up the chicken tenders and mixed them in with the spaghetti for a kinda low-budget chicken parm (without the parm ). It was a thoroughly delicious meal, and all a la carte. Could I have gotten this in the MDR ? I don't know. Maybe. ...but I was impressed that both Anelyn and the chef were so quick to make a special meal for me. I wanted to tip the chef and I asked Anelyn to please give the money to him. She said "no" that she would bring the chef out to meet me. He was such a sweet, young and gracious guy. It was an honor to meet him and give him his tip in person. IMO, THIS is what tipping is all about. Both of them had gone waaay out of their way to make my evening memorable and I appreciated it. An interesting side note regarding the picky eater story above....both @OCSC Mike (wife) and @Ampurp85 kept passing across my mind...with the tales of their pickiness. I knew they would be proud !
    15 points
  17. You'll love this story...... The b@#ch stole my job!!!!! (don't worry, she allows me to use that term. She also loves to tell this story) So back story...this will take a bit...you will laugh, cry, and laugh at me some more..... Years ago while I was in Paramedic School in Syracuse NY at the SUNY Upstate Medical University. I was living in Oswego NY (about 45 min north of Syracuse) where I had originally started college for biology and had hoped to get a job as a firefighter/paramedic. I was having a hard time finding a decent job locally while in school, so I had the following schedule. Monday night I would go to Paramedic Class in Syracuse 6-9pm. I would crash on the sofa at my friends dorm at SU for the night. Tuesday I would do clinical time in the hospital then crash in the dorm again. Wednesday I would do ride time on an ambulance during the day, followed by class from 6-9pm. Following that class, I would drive back home to my parents house in Albany NY about 2hrs away. I was able to get a job in one of the ER's there as a tech. I had worked there previously during college breaks, so they were glad to have me back. I'd do a bunch of 16hr shifts Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Monday I would head back to Syracuse for class and repeat the process over and over again. On the days that I didn't have clinical time, I'd head back to Oswego to study, get caught up on sleep etc etc. As you can imagine, this was an exhausting schedule. I was continuously looking for something job wise locally that would allow me the flexibility to keep up with school and paid enough to cover tuition. Eventually the hospital in Oswego posted that they were looking for techs.....perfect, that's what I know how to do etc. I applied for the job, interviewed and got the position. My first day, I show up to work in my scrubs and with my stethoscope and they look at me funny...."what do you need that for??" Well, they pulled a bait and switch....my clinical position turned into you are just a transporter....fine, whatever, it was a job and I didn't have to do all that driving. After about a month in this job, I now see that an actual tech position, assisting in patient care which is what I had originally thought I was being hired for, is now open in the ED. Perfect. I do all the paperwork, and I'm told "you should be all set, and you will start in a week or two in the new position." Shortly after....I'm told, hang on, you will be starting in your new role in the fall. We hired someone who was in nursing school for the summer.....greeeaaaaaatttt........WTF....... So a few days later, I'm working, so I head down to the ED, to see who this "nursing student" is that they hired......So I'm sitting down there chatting with other staff members that I am friends with, and around the corner comes Heather.....and I think to myself......damnit....she's really cute. I can't be mean to her and giver her a hard time....... So we start chatting and becoming friendly with each other and getting to know each other. After a few days, I had to head to Albany for about a week. I had some time off from classes, and I was working on the medical team at a music festival. When I got back to Oswego and was at the hospital for work, we ran into each other, and she gave me a big hug exclaiming "where have you been" etc etc. I thought to myself.....wow, that was not the reaction I was expecting, so I asked her out on a date. Stupidly she said yes. Having had some conversations previously, I knew that lasagna was her favorite, so I made that for dinner before our date. That went over well. Then, at the end of our date, honest truth the battery in my car died, so she had to drive me to Walmart to get a new battery for my car.....the whole time, I'm thinking......"wow, did I make a great first impression" For some silly reason, she agrees to a second date, and now almost 20 years later....here we are! So, now any time someone asks how we met, its always "the b@&ch stole my job"
    15 points
  18. the sun has come out!! it’s gorgeous here. feels a little bit like a september day. when we first came in, i remember telling J that we were starboard side this time — honestly our preferred side, so we can watch as we go in and out of port — but that meant we wouldn’t see the other ships departing tonight. as it turns out, the captain pulled in this morning instead of backing in, and we are facing the highway after all!! we will see any ship as they depart. the captain got on around 3:30 and said everyone did a great job, and all the muster check in has been completed! this is a first for me! once that announcement was made, i ran for sailaway champagne at vintages. when i walked in, roman’s eyes got big and he smiled and exclaimed, “welcome back!!” then he grabbed a brand new bottle of chandon out of the chiller for us i met our cabin attendant; he is SO nice and kind. his name is hard to pronounce, so when i asked him how to say it properly, he told me to call him “ATM.” so we will i am waiting on the duffle. i fear it has been confiscated, you guys. however i will say — there is a LOT of missing luggage right now. it just makes no sense how we can get our large suitcases and then be missing the duffle, which all came aboard at the same time. also — due to the torrential downpouring from before - my luggage got SOAKED inside. it must have come in through the zippers, but the one side of the suitcase was so wet inside that it even got into my toiletry bags. we are letting them air out and i’m airing out some of my pajamas that got soaked. i would hang them from my magnetic hooks outside, but…. the hooks are in the duffle. and i fear the duffle is in the belly of the beast. alas. some pics from our walkabout today below IMG_7929.mov
    15 points
  19. Next thoughts: Would we sail Icon again? The answer is yes, with our kids because I am sure they will love it more than Oasis class. Thrill Island being one of the major reasons why. And they love crepes too. Would we sail Icon again if we factor in inflated pricing? This is where we are struggling. If you look at most of my dislikes, they involve the suites & suite areas. Because I am the type of cruiser that I am, this is a huge factor for me to consider. But know that this is me, and not everyone else. For example, my kids who don’t care at all about suite amenities, will likely prefer this class, same as Hubby. While I don’t dislike Icon, I personally think that I would just be as happy on Oasis class, and my money will go a bit further on Oasis class. I have zero use for a lot of the new amenities on this ship. But again, that is because I am the type of cruiser that I am. Hubby thinks that Icon does justify the inflated cost, because it is a better product, better amenities, but no more than 1.5 times the cost compared to Oasis class. That would be the high end. Overall, if you are looking for a new product, Icon delivers. There are enough differences from Oasis class to make it interesting. It is not just a bigger Oasis class ship, it is different.
    15 points
  20. As you can see, I am not the dedicated live bloggers that my partners are (although I did make sure I helped to get in daily and approve posts). This was, hands down, our best cruise ever. We loved the ship, the wide Promenade and all of the ocean views and natural light. But sailing with friends made it amazing. The crew made it amazing. We spent a lot of time with the gang at the Schooner Bar. Will, Johanna, Sumi, and John Eli were the best! And Gemma, who didn't make the photo. I didn't see anyone mention it. There is a wifi router in EVERY room. We found the wifi to be excellent. We had the UDP. It was a mistake. Not because the food in the specialty restaurants, as it was. But we found ourselves wanting to eat other places more than the specialty restaurants because the complimentary food (I'm looking at you, Aquadome) was so good! When we get a chance to sail on Icon again we will not repeat this faux pas.
    15 points
  21. 15 points
  22. Sitting at the Schooner Bar having a Desert Pear Margarita and thought, "Hey! Does anyone want to know how no-touch the public restroom door are?" If that's you, here it is! Just wave your hand and magical access. Seriously, come to me for the mundane information.
    15 points
  23. Wizard of Oz was amazing! The feedback from others is correct; by far the best Royal Caribbean production to take the stage! After the show we thought about all the other shows that we have seen on Oasis/Quantum class and this one cannot be beat. It was 90 mins long, and retained pretty much the storyline from the original movie. Really talented cast as well. They asked for everyone to put away their recording devices so only this one curtain call photo
    15 points
  24. This Mod is blogging from bed. After the ice show, we went back to the shops and ended up with 3 more hoodies/sweatshirts. At that point, I said to Hubby, we are out of control with the clothing this trip (between here and Vuori yesterday). I don’t even know how we are fitting all this stuff when we leave. So we went back to the cabin to prevent further damage.
    15 points
  25. So I think we are now up to the special treat for the wife. I know I have been hinting at sparkly things that we have been looking for, and not having any luck. But..... But............ We went another route. I really did want to treat her, to something special. She recently got a big promotion at work that she worked so hard for, and it was really a wonderful thing for this position to become available in her company, and in this location so that we wouldn't have to relocate....plus she deserves it from putting up with me right @TheBoss518 So may I present to you Luis.... She is beyond excited....and can't wait for work on Wednesday to show it off a little bit. For all of you that were hoping on sparkly things...FEAR NOT!!!! I have found the exact thing that she was looking for on the Effy site and I have ordered it!
    14 points
  26. More Maya Chan. Lunch and beverages are included, and are very tasty. The have a taco bar set up. You have a choice of homemade flour or corn tortillas. Fillings include skirt steak, chicken, a slow roasted citrus pork, and a fish, which was sea bass. There is rice, beans, cheese, pico, guacamole, and a selection of homemade salsas. If you leave hungry, you are doing it wrong. This was plate #2….i was too busy shoving tacos in mouth on the first round to remember to get a picture. After lunch, we continued to make full use of all their included activities. There are glass bottomed kayaks, multiple floats, paddle boards, sand toys. I love this picture of Lydia and Livi. We also tried to make a new friend…he wasn’t exactly cuddly. Us adults got massages as well….they were just okay. Eventually we had to head back to the ship. The staff there come around after lunch and ask you what time you want to return, and they arrange your ride. They then give you a ten minute warning so you are prepared by the time your ride comes. Dan and his family were so happy with their experience I lost track of how many times they talked about how much fun they had.
    14 points
  27. Is this the new method of putting a sock on the door?
    14 points
  28. random/stray observations: despite her age, the ship was always clean. we rarely saw dirty plates, cups, etc (other than it lining the corridors, etc. the public areas were always clean (at least when we walked through) or in the process of being cleaned. the crew in housekeeping worked HARD. and it showed. it was an interesting mix of folks. not necessarily all first timers, a lot more repeat/seasoned cruises than our previous trip. less deer in the headlights and more -- oh yeah let's do this because we already know this tip/trick. like ELF for lunch every single day and the insane line because of that, or folks staying aboard in nassau and falmouth. even the aqua show on night three, there were so many folks on the starboard overlook on deck 7, waiting for the show. we are used to knowing that little trick and having the place to ourselves until at least halfway through. not this time. folks KNEW. EVERYONE WAS ON THE SUNDECK ON THE LAST DAY BY 8AM. WHAT. EVEN. (?????? who are all these repeat cruisers taking a page out of our book????? how dare they?? just kidding, but it was wild.) the fashion choices (or lack thereof) were nothing short of astonishing. no shoes, skirt hems that stopped at hip height, complete and utter disregard for fellow passengers just trying to make their way through the ship, visually unaccosted. ALAS. it was not meant to be. we had just under 6500 pax on board when i asked our the C+A loyalty ambassador and this was one of the first times i've ever felt the crowds so keenly on an oasis class ship. i forgot to mention!! the C+A ambassador gave us our pins! i got my D+ and J got her diamond pin!! we are officially OFFICIAL. and J will OFFICIALLY get her diamond vouchers now. prior to symphony, oasis was our absolute favorite ship. i would sail her again BUT it would have to be a really smart choice (ie, CHEAP) or literally the last resort. i think i would rather try a standard balcony on the new beyond/ascent/xcel on celebrity before choosing oasis. while there is certainly nothing wrong with the ship, i have now been fortunate enough to sail her five times -- so i think we need to break up for a while given our previous history. we should clear the air. i actually did look into caribbean sailings for december 2025 and was sad to see that only oasis and icon (among the oasis class) were sailing out of miami/FLL. i think symphony might be sailing out of miami in 2025 as well but when i go to book a suite, it crashes, so who knows what is happening there. it has been absolutely MARVELOUS having you along for the week. a real treat for me, as i was away from my family during a historically difficult time, and you all made it so wonderful. i know it was a quieter start than i am usually prone to having, but i feel like we really picked up speed and had ourselves A TIME. i'm so glad there were no medical emergency evacuations and delays back to port this time -- although the emergency evacuation off cococay certainly was something. perhaps i've attracted all the oasis shenanigans and the rest of you will all have a pleasantly peaceful time. this is what i want for y'all. thank you for letting me flex my writer muscles, as i've missed it terribly, and i sort of feel like you should receive a certificate of completion for making it to the last page of this liveblog i hope you have had as much fun as i have, sharing observations, thoughts and experiences. and if nothing else, that you've joined us in the cup clip club. what's next? well, funny you should ask.... forever yours in bezos + shenanigans, -A
    14 points
  29. I actually had to work when I got home so this is the 1st chance I had to write my Recap. Disembarkation on Sunday was a breeze. Put my suitcase out the night before. Needed to be out of the cabins by 7:30. Had breakfast at the Oceanview, walked around and took some last minute pictures. I think my group was called by 8:30 to get off. I was at the airport a little after 9. My flight was at 12. The Ascent is a gorgeous new ship. It is more of a sit back and relax type of ship. This cruise definitely had an older crowd then I’m use to. I would say the average age was 75+. I have noticed that the Celebrity older guests expect more, want more & complain about everything. There were still plenty of us 50 & 60 year olds that were having fun. I would definitely book another cruise on this ship. The Ascent doesn’t have a lot of “active” stuff to do. No mini golf, no rock climbing wall, no basketball court & no flowrider. They do have a pickleball court setup on the Rooftop Garden and these Celebrity cruisers take their pickleball very seriously. I saw the same group of about 25 people up there every day and they are playing from 10 in the morning till 4 in the afternoon. I think they would have camped up there if they could. The ship is also very clean. It’s a new ship so it should be. They have staff standing outside or sometimes inside the public restrooms cleaning them as soon as the guest leaves. Handrails on the stairways were always being wiped down. In the Oceanview Café they had really nice hand washing stations, but unfortunately most guests didn’t use them. Also in the Oceanview Café they were quick to clear & clean the tables. Never saw a tray of dirty dishes in the hallway. The staff was wonderful. Always smiling, happy and welcoming. My room steward was Reynaldo. He introduced himself the 1st day and he was so sweet. He cleaned the room in the morning (like I asked) and did turndown service in the evening which included the paper version of “Celebrity Today” and 2 chocolates. I loved my Panoramic Ocean View cabin on deck 6 forward . Plenty of room and storage for me (even if there were 2 of us there was still plenty of room & storage). The only problem I had was the night we left St Kitts back to Ft Lauderdale we were rocking & rolling. The cabin was creaking loudly and loud banging in the ceiling woke me up at 3 in the morning. Thank God I brought my earplugs. A lot of people had the same complaint on our FB group and I read about it on CC so I was prepared. Food was pretty good. Went to Oceanview for breakfast & lunch most days and was never disappointed except for the desserts. They were gorgeous but lacked any taste. Scoops ice cream was a must for me at least once a day (sometimes 2x). They had soft serve, gelato, frozen yogurt, some toppings (sprinkles & some candy) sauces and cookies. Went to all 4 MDR all were good. Normadie was my favorite (French food) I went 4 times. Never made it to any of the specialty restaurants for lunch (they close to early) or dinner. I’ll just have to book another trip so I can try them. Café Al Bacio was my favorite place to get my latte and cookies. They also had other little pastries and bite size sandwiches. Tons of comfy chairs to sit back and enjoy your coffee or tea. They also serve the tea in real tea pots and mugs and snacks on a real plate. You could also get it to go. The entertainment was great. No reservations for any of the shows. The main theater shows were 7:30 & 9:30. All the seats were great, no columns blocking your view. Eden shows were at 10:45. If you wanted a seat your needed to get there an hour before. Resort Pool was huge for a cruise ship pool. Just like all the other cruise ships the chair hogs are out early. I never had a problem finding a chair in the shade or sun. They had a lot of activities at the pool. Live music, dance classes, volleyball officers vs guests and other pool games. Rooftop Garden is a nice area away from the noise of the main pool. Lots of natural plants. Sectional seating with huge umbrellas (the seating needed pillows to really make it comfortable). The only downside is that the pickleball court is right in the middle of the venue. I could write so much more about the ship but you all don't need me to write a novel. Thanks for following along on my 1st live blog.
    14 points
  30. GUYS. i went to my royal app and all of the sudden confetti appeared on the screen!!!! WE GOT EXPRESS BOARDING CHA-CHING THIS DAY IS TURNING AROUND!!!!!!!!
    14 points
  31. We (my brother and I) decided to keep our Hideaway Beach passes. My mother canceled hers since she didn't know how accessible it would be getting there. She can't walk long distances and can't step up high enough onto the trams (I barely can!). They did make this place accessible. There are wheelchair accessible trams with ramps and the pools have lifts. Sidewalks are wide, too. I'm not one for sun and sand so I already knew this wasn't going to be my vibe. The pool is massive and heated but there's not a lot of space for poolside chairs. There are plenty of chairs down at the beach. I've been wandering among all the shady seating areas by the food places and the bars. The weather is absolutely gorgeous..super comfortable to this Floridian. This is at the On the Rocks bar which has a live band. They also have shuffleboard and a pool table.
    14 points
  32. The second ice show is called “Once Upon a Time: The King’s Royal Ball”. It is a total “tot town” show. We left after 10 mins
    14 points
  33. Tonight we watch Aqua Nation. It was only 30mins long. The typical Aqua theatre shows are 50 mins long. Makes me wonder if we saw the entire show, or if they are still working on parts of it. We really liked this show. It has elements of Intense (Wonder) in it. The soundtrack was done really well for this, including music from Austin Powers, Aerosmith, Star Wars, Terminator, and Star Trek. There were two aerialist and that set was beautiful (video clips on IG), and 3 slack line guys. They had super high energy. Overall, this show was better than Intense. The energy was better, and the use of the robots and projections on the screens, made it quite the sight to watch.
    14 points
  34. Today's view from the office.. They have the A/C going strong in here. It's very comfortable.
    14 points
  35. @bobroo a Royal Bling update. Here are my unfiltered, unbiased thoughts. Keep in mind that I am used to Effy pieces and comparing in my mind against those pieces. Everything in this store is real gold or silver, it’s not costume jewelry. The cheapest piece is a plain silver plated ring with the royal logo, and it looks like costume jewelry. The most expensive is the goblet, and we all know the cost of that ($100,000). The guys that I spoke to in here said Royal collaborated with Effy to bring this collection forward. If that is true, it explains some of the similarities in the designs of the rings. However, the price is not similar at all. Take these earrings for example. 1.4 carat, 14k gold. Their cost is $4495 for these earrings. I have a very similar pair from Effy that was a fraction of the cost. This bracelet here (pardon the bad photo quality), approx $1500. My similar Effy piece was also less than that. Guess the cost of this? If you guess $49,800 you are correct! Lol Some other random pics. One of the guys here told me they will discount for Diamond Plus members. When I inquired if it was the 15% logo discount, they would not commit to saying that. So I am not sure what/how much they are discounting. But you might be able to make a deal here. Overall, it’s an interesting concept by Royal. Would I ever buy anything here? No way. I would rather spend my money on Effy pieces. But I can see how some people might spend their disposable income here. And with that, I am off to the actual Effy store on Deck 5
    14 points
  36. Wandering to Desserted... Smells like diabetes in here.
    14 points
  37. Sorry for another photo-less live blog….but b/c we have not sailed on Radiance in MANY years, I thought I would post a few thoughts. 1. Driving…arriving PoT. Our drive from Port St Lucie to the Port of Tampa is about 3 hours, give or take depending on traffic. We have made this trek 4 times now and I swear, we have not gone the same way twice, yet ! …and the drive home is never the same as the way we got here ! …but this morning’s drive was fairly event-free. We ran into a bit of traffic around Disney (go figure) and again on I-4 W heading into downtown Tampa. Par for the course. Handled w/o issue. I really do love the PoT. It’s easy to get here, easy to park and VERY pleasant to board. I will say again, as I have many times, the terminal staff in Tampa are the best out any port we’ve ever encountered. They are NICE and so helpful. We arrived about 9:45, were taken immediately to the Suites/ Pinn hold pin and checked in, sitting down, by the most wonderful lady - the same gracious lady that checked us in last time we were here. Our wait was minimal. By 10:45 we were onboard. During our very short wait we (I) attended to our safety videos and got the much-appreciated “Complete” banner. 2. Onboard. When we first checked, there were no staff doing the muster station check-ins so we (I) went str8 to our room to snatch our room keys. Right where they should be. Perfect. When we came back down, staff was doing the muster station check-ins so we finished that up. Yippee. Also present in the hallway was a lovely lady pimping specialty dining so I asked if she would be able to do our BOGO rezzies and she said, “yes”. Wow. I’m on a roll ! She let us do Giovanni’s tonite and Samba grill on night #4. I hope I don’t regret the Samba thing. It’s been a really long time since we tried Samba so we’re taking a chance. 3. Will they or won’t they ? Next, the first real challenge of the cruise. Will they or won’t they allow us into the Concierge Lounge ? For reasons which truly elude me, Radiance (and I believe all of this class ship) has never converted their Concierge Lounge into a Suites Lounge. Whatever. It’s always big drama to see whether our Sea Passes will open the door ! Whew. We’re batting 1000. So far, we have not been denied entry into the SL on any ship since we made Pinn. 4. First impressions. I always forget how beautiful the Radiance class ships are, until I step foot back on one. Radiance is so classy…so far I haven’t seen anything to change my mind. The Staff has been phenomenal so far. So, we are contently waiting in the CL (not to be confused with the CL) for noon, at which time we will enjoy our Chops boarding day lunch. BTW, I confirmed, when I snuck into our stateroom, that our bed is next to the balcony ! Woohoo ! With all this good luck, I need to bet big at the casino tonite. Or, maybe I’m using all my good luck up, early
    13 points
  38. We just finished up an amazing week on Icon of the Seas, sailing from February 17th to the 24th of 2024. We were a family of 5, staying in an Family Infinite Ocean View Balcony room, and there were definitely some things we learned along the way and since lists are always fun thought I would share some of them in a Top 10 format Obviously this is all just based on our experience and everyone cruises differently, but thought this could create some discussion and would be interested to hear tips from others who have cruise on Icon as well. Also should mention the ship was not at full capacity yet - there were about 6,000 total guests, with 1,200 of them being children. Also, we were seeing them making some tweaks to schedules and what is included in various packages, pricing for things .... basically, your experience may differ from what ours With that out of the way, here we go .... 10. You Will Need to Prioritize What You Want to Do This goes without saying but this is a massive ship with a ton to do and a ton of new stuff not seen on other Royal Caribbean ships. Because of that at the end of the week my wife and I were commenting about the things we didn't get to. For example we never ate at El Loco Fresh and never visited the Sports Court - whereas on our last cruise those were two locations we spent a lot of time at. A week goes really fast and if there is something you are really looking forward to checking out, make it a priority / add it to you "calendar" in the app. 9. Consider Skipping a Port To Stay On the Ship On a related note, you may want to take advantage of a less crowded ship when in port to accomplish more of your priority list. We found on sea days the pool decks to be very crowded and longish lines for water slides and crowded venues. We decided to not get off the ship when it docked at Perfect Day at Coco Cay and it turned out to be a great call as we got to check out multiple pools and hot tubs, ride the water slides a bunch, attended a trivia session with only 3 total groups, not lines at bars, minimal folks in the Hideaway Area pool, ... you get the idea. Just to give you an idea, here is a photo of the Royal Bay Pool, the main pool in Chill Island, at about 11am: It was just really nice to explore this ship with low crowds and made for a really relaxing day. 8. You Don't Need to Pack as Many Mutli-Port Adapters One thing the rooms on Icon have is outlets, especially USB ports. Between the desk, the shelf near the TV, in the bathroom, by the beds - there are outlets all over the room. Our room also had multiple USB-A outlets near the bunkbed area. If I counted correctly, we had 4 US Outlets, 1 European Outlet 10 USB-A Outlets, and 2 USB-C outlets. We did utilize one multi USB-A plug on the desk just to keep things more organized with phones and battery packs, etc. but we absolutely could have made it through without anything. This is very different than other ships where we felt like we had multiple multi-port adapters in use at all times. There are also outlets out around the ship with the Overlook area having an exceptional amount and a great place to go if you need to get on a laptop or similar. 7. You Will Want to Pack Magnetic Hooks to Hang Things From in the Room One negative things we found about the rooms (and heard from others as well) is the lack of storage compared to other ships like the Oasis class. For our family of 5 we struggled to fit everything on the hanging racks and just ran out of shelf space. We fit everything, but was tight. Additionally, there is no close line in the bathroom for hanging up bathing suits or other wet items - only a couple of knobs to hang a few things from. We are glad we brough a number of magnetic Hooks to use on the walls (which are metal) as it allowed us to hang things like hats up but also put nearly-but-not-quite dry bathing suits to air out and finish drying - and just not get other stuff damp. Bonus tip: Bring at least 1 more swimsuit than you think you might need, but also try to not overpack other items as storage is at a premium. 6. Bring Ear Plugs if You are a Light Sleeper While we overall really liked the room we had and the rooms in general on Icon, thought I would mention another slide negative thing we found which is that the walls appear to be quite thin as we could definitely hear our neighbors on both sides - with one group being rather loud with quite a bit of screaming (from both kids and adults). If you are someone who needs things really quiet to sleep or just wants quiet when relaxing in the room, consider bringing ear plugs or headphones or something that can block sound out 5. If You Are Debating It, Get the Drink Package I know the drink package, especially for this ship, is expensive - but if you are someone who is contemplating getting it, go for it. There are sooooo many unique bars and drinks on this ship that we got so much use out of our package and really enjoyed trying different things that we might not be as open to ordering (for fear of not liking it) if we were paying per drink. Also, consider doing a bar crawl as motivates you to check out the different bars and different drinks - and you can spread it out over the course of the cruise, you don't need to do it all in one day 4. Similarly, If Contemplating The Empire Supper Club - Book It! Speaking of things that are not cheap, we got to experience the Empire Supper Club and it did not disappoint - one of the best meal experiences i have had in my life. The food was wonderful and creative, really interesting cocktails - with some pairings I would never have thought of but worked - and excellent music that absolutely complemented the meal without taking away from being able to have conversations. And probably the best service I have ever had on any cruise ship. It's probably not something you are going to do every cruise but for a special occasion or if just something you think will appeal to you, go for it! A meal like this on land, when factoring the cocktails and entertainment, would likely cost 2-3x what they are charging. 3. Pearl Cafe is a Game Changer One of the best changes they made for this ship was the opening up of the promenade and the addition of the pearl Cafe. I cannot overstate how much of an upgrade this is over Cafe Promenade. The setting is lovely with the large windows, view of the Pearl, and the artwork above your head. The food is really, really good - the steak and egg breakfast sandwich become an everyday item for me - and it is open 24 hours a day. I will say the line for the coffee where you can get lattes and the like made with Starbucks coffee can get rather long - the crew there is working hard, just lots of people want their coffee! 2. Seating for the Shows - Including Non Reserved Seating for the Aqua Show. Royal Caribbean entertainment is generally amazing and what is found on this ship is no exception - probably don't need me to advise you to go see the Wizard of Oz, the Ice Shows, or the Aquashows ... but for each, here are a few tips for where to sit. Wizard of Oz - do you best to sit in the lower section, as close to the middle as you can, but if only thing available is on the side that is fine too. Just being closer to the stage is great and a number of effects will, literally, go over your heads and really adds to the experience Ice Shows in Absolute Zero - Outside of a few seats that may have a pole impacting your view, there really aren't "bad" seats, but I would advice to get as close as you can and even going for the front row. Especially for the secondary show which is aimed at families as we had the kids in our group sit in the front row and at times the performers would come by and give them high fives and they loved that. AquaAction - this is probably my best tip overall all. The reservations for the shows in the aqua theater (there was only one ready on our sailing) are just for the wooden benches and chairs within that area, NOT for the chairs behind the benches. We wanted to see the show twice and just showed up early and found we could just sit in the chairs at the back and they are way more comfortable than the wooden benches (plus have tables for your beverage or a crepe from the Aquadome Market). While slightly further away, the view is just as good and I would take these over the area the reservations are for Before my #1 tip a quick bonus: Ranking the Water Slide We did get a chance to ride all of the water slides in Thrill Island and I would rank them in this order 1a/b - Storm Chasers Mat Slides: These were definitely my favorite as they were fast, fun, long, and had great lighting effects in the tubes. The lighter blue colored slide was my favorite, but both were excellent 2 - Hurricane Hunter: This is the pink colored family raft slide and was an absolute blast - also very long and with a lot of different lighting effect. Just not as fast/adrenaline filled as the mat slides, but really, really fun 3 - Storm Surge: This is the green colored family raft slide with the "leaf" that goes out over the edge of the ship. This was also quite fun but just noticeably shorter than Hurricane Hunter. Also, they were only allowing 3 people in this one vs 4 for Hurricane Hunter. 4 - Pressure Drop: The yellow drop slide that is located with the raft slides. This is a straight forward drop slide and rather short, but gives a kick of adrenaline and is overall a positive experience. 5 - Frightening Bolt - I feel a bit bad listing this one last as it does what it says it will do, which is dop you, and then is a nice long ride after the drop, but the drop was pretty severe/hard and I wound up banging my head some. Just was one of those "well I did that and don't need to again". By far the most "extreme" of the slides 1. Dueling Pianos is an Absolute Must Do - But Get There Early! One of the most fun experiences I have had anywhere let alone on a cruise ship was at Dueling Pianos on Icon of the Seas. The level of talent and engagement with the crowd is off the charts and just singing along with hundreds of strangers/new friends and laughing with the antics of the performance, you just can't not smile. The "bit" they do for Piano Man was one of the funniest things we have experienced in quite a while. That said, it is really popular - you will want to get there at least 30 minutes prior to showtime if you want a seat and you will, unfortunately, see people "Saving" seats with drinks for an hour or prior like they are deck chairs. You can see the large crowd reflected in the mirror of this photo Also, the earlier shows seem to attract more kids and they try to go with the crowd (I mean, they did take a request for Baby Shark) so I would suggest going to a later show for the full experience where it gets a bit more "PG-13" And there you have it - my top 10 list of tips and thoughts from our week long cruise on Icon of the Seas. I could probably add 10 more but this post is already more than long enough. If you have sailed on Icon of the Seas, what tips to you have for new cruisers? If you have a sailing upcoming what other advice would you want to know?
    13 points
  39. Today we are hitting our first port, Roatan. We are using Victor Bodden again. We will be visiting with sloths etc, and doing the zip lines. After, we will be playing it by ear. Our friends are also with Victor Bodden, but doing some different activities. We are all meeting at CK for breakfast. Berty said that they could walk off with us when we get off the ship which we thought was very nice of him. Other random thoughts from last night. Our friends were really grateful for being able to watch the show from the balcony. It’s also not lost on us that we are fortunate enough to be able to do these things ourselves. Their kids (and ours) had a blast. Earlier in the day, we had heard that Livi had been wanting chocolate covered strawberries this whole trip, so of course we had to make that happen. This is her first big trip away from her parents so she has frequently been getting homesick. To see her eyes light up and truly enjoy herself last night made my night. Sure star class is amazing with the beverage package and all the dining etc, but it’s the intangibles that really do it for me. To be able to make someone’s day with just a simple text message is what it’s all about.
    13 points
  40. my best friend just texted me that a major storm is headed our way we are in our lyft to the port. we should be there just before 10. which would be far too late if we were actually the 10:30 boarding time but if royal is to be believed, we aren’t supposed to arrive until 11:30. it’s going to be what it’s going to be. now some details about our stay. we stayed at the holiday inn express on 17th street. we started staying here when J and i first began cruising together. the rate was just about $185-210 a night. and that was good for us. but i can say that will be our last stay there. the rooms are now close to $400 a night and it feels like the only thing we are paying for is the included breakfast, which we do not even eat. when we arrived yesterday, it was a total scene at 3pm. i was checked in by a young man who seemed a bit newer, which was fine, except he announced our room number loudly. so i immediately requested another room. they had us on floor three, which i thought was unusual because i didn’t recall even seeing a floor three in the elevators we usually take. there was no direction from the checkin which elevator to take, they had to call me back to sign off on the registration form but that was it. turns out, we went to the wrong elevator. so we had to get off with all our luggage and traipse through the lobby again to go to floor three, in the other elevator, which immediately gave me a bad feeling. the bad feeling turned out to be correct, because we were deposited in the older section of the hotel (HOW ARE THEY CHARGING $400 A NIGHT FOR THIS) and the room was not clean. there was paint peeling off and the room was tiny and cramped; nothing like the usual room we stay in times past here. so we went BACK downstairs and got assigned a third room which was better and ultimately wound up being where we stayed. i will say the in-room AC unit is rough because it goes off at the worst of times and then we melt of heat at night. also i feel slightly like it’s just blowing moldy air into the room. (we know i am a germphobe, guys ) there was also almost no water pressure to speak of, and the water got lukewarm at best in the shower. i never thought i’d look forward to a hot space tube shower so much in my entire life the good news is, we slept. we got up the morning and acquired some supplies and now we are heading to the ship. anyway, enough negativity!! our lyft came promptly and seems to be a sane and safe driver. i think i am done with uber and their shenanigans!!!! also. we have SO much luggage, guys. and you know most of it… is mine.
    13 points
  41. 13 points
  42. I was shocked at the cost for sailing on Enchantment. I have friends who are sailing on her 6-22-24 and I thought about going along but 7 nights on that crap ship was over $5K (JS) ! ...even more once you added in grats. No f'ing way !
    13 points
  43. The grab and go offerings at Pearl Cafe are way better than the old Cafe Promenade repertoire. Don't be fooled by the healthiness of this bedtime snack..this came after a stop by Sorrentos.
    13 points
  44. 13 points
  45. Like Wonder, you can view your ship photos on the app. You can also purchase digital packages on the app as well.
    13 points
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